This may come as a surprise, but I’ve actually been up to more than just gestating lately. This past weekend, I hopped on a plane with some of my very favorite girls, and headed off to the NorthEast for a little weekend vacation.
Alli, Amanda, and I caught a plane first thing Friday morning, while Jacklyn caught up with us later that night. After a quick (and early) flight, we landed at Ronald Reagan airport, hopped in a car, and headed off to our first destination – PHILLY!
When you live in Texas, the idea of crossing multiple state lines in a matter of just a couple of hours is absolutely laughable. So when we realized that we were less than 3 hours away from the Liberty Bell and endless Philly cheesesteaks, we knew we couldn’t pass them up. Our first stop? LUNCH!
We hit up both Pat’s and Geno’s in order to do a completely unbiased comparison. They were both delicious, but Geno’s stole first place.
After lunch, it was time to play tourist!
We got lucky at the Liberty Bell, and only had to wait in line about ten minutes. Meandering through the little museum was a great intro to our weekend, and it was so cool to dive in to the history that surrounds the Liberty Bell and all that it has represented throughout the years.
After LB, we wandered throughout a few historic blocks of the city, just soaking up the history and the gorgeous fall colors.
After walking for awhile, we decided it was time to stop for a snack, so we ducked inside Lore’s Chocolates.
The ladies at Lore’s could not have been sweeter, so we had a great time chatting with them all while inhaling those delicious chocolate fumes. I really REALLY wanted to take home a chocolate Liberty Bell, but it was actually really warm and humid in Philly that day, and I just knew it would melt if I had to carry it around the city. So I snapped a photo for good measure.
As we were driving into Philly that day, Amanda had done a quick Google search of unique places to visit in the city, and she stumbled across The Magic Gardens, an entirely mosaic “garden” right in the middle of the city. We were a little bummed we didn’t catch it before the sun went down, but it was still INCREDIBLE to see.
After The Magic Gardens, we were all pretty beat, so we hopped in the car and headed back to our hotel in D.C. to rest up for a weekend full of all things touristy.
Saturday morning, we were up bright and early to start our day. After a quick stop for pancakes at a local diner, we hopped on the Metro to make our way to The White House.
After surprisingly warm temps in Philly the day before, Saturday was nothing but cold and rainy. But when you have less than 48 hours in your nation’s capital, you whip out your umbrella and make do with what you’ve got. As miserable and rainy as it was, I still couldn’t get enough of these gorgeous trees. D.C., you sure know how to do fall.
The greatest pre-vacation purchase I could have EVER made was these less than fashionable ^ Skecher’s Go Walks. As much as I really wanted to effortlessly traipse around D.C. in riding boots, this extra baby weight just wouldn’t allow for it. They may not have been the cutest, but they were insanely comfortable for the all day walking this trip required.
After wandering around (partially around in circles) we finally arrived at The White House! I’m going to be totally honest and say I envisioned it to be a lot bigger than it actually was. It just felt so small in comparison to what I’ve seen
on Scandal in history books.
After wandering around
Fitz’s Obama’s house, we made our way over to The National Mall.
After a hell of a lot more walking, we ended up at the National Air and Space Museum. Our feet were throbbing, so we decided to take a 20 minute break in the form of a planetarium show.
After our quick
nap educational adventure that we absolutely did NOT sleep through, we headed over to Dupont Circle to do a little shopping. The temperatures had really started to drop, so we ducked inside the adorable Firehook Bakery to rest our feet and sip on tea and hot chocolate.
After a little more exploring, we finally landed on The Madhatter for dinner. In inhaled a delicious plate of fish tacos while we rested our feet before finally heading back to the hotel for the night.
Sunday morning, we slept in a bit, packed our bags, and headed out to find breakfast.
We stayed in Crystal City, and nearly every restaurant in the area was CLOSED. By the time we found food, we were both ravenous and slightly annoyed at the time we’d wasted. But we ate quickly and then headed off to our first destination of the day – Arlington National Cemetery.
Arlington National may have been my favorite stop of the weekend. The day could not have been more beautiful, and the grounds were absolutely pristine.
It was incredible to wander around, soaking up the history and really being reminded of how many brave men and women have sacrificed EVERYTHING for our country.
After hitting the highlights (a few former presidents and JFK’s family grave), we decided to explore the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
We happened to walk up just in time to catch the changing of the guard and a wreath laying ceremony.
It was such an emotional thing to witness (and I swear it’s not just the pregnancy hormones talking). Hearing taps played and reading “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God,” had me instantly in tears and reminded of just how blessed I am to call this country home.
After the ceremony, we wandered down to the bottom of the hill to take in a different view, equally as breathtaking as all the others.
It felt a teeny tiny bit weird to be taking photos in a cemetery, but just thinking about the views and the history, we couldn’t help it. And I am SO glad we did.
And little boy got in on the action too.
Once we were finished at Arlington, we made the long trek over to visit the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
After a pretty crappy weather day on Saturday, Sunday could NOT have been more perfect. Even though we were exhausted, we were all so glad that we saved these sights for our last day.
After Lincoln, we hopped on the Metro and made our way over to Chinatown for lunch and a quick stop at Ford’s Theatre.
I’m really terrible about buying souvenirs when I travel, but I did pick up this set of “Lincoln Logs” for little boy! Even though it’ll be a few years before he can play with them, the fact that he was with me for the whole weekend made it too special to pass up.
After Ford’s Theatre, we quickly made our way back to the hotel to pick up our bags and catch our 7pm flight back to Dallas. After a long, long, loong day, I finally walked in the door just before midnight and was greeted by this little ham.
It was SUCH a fun and jam-packed weekend. Traveling with friends is one of my favorite things to do, and I’m so glad we were able to get together for this quick trip, my last before this little man makes his appearance in February. Who knows when and where we’ll travel next, but one thing is for sure – it will certainly be a whole new experience!